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[[quoteright:187:[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dropodlanding_7686.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:187:[[TheCavalry They'll really crash your party.]]]]-]

->'''"Er ... Boss? Remember on Borsk when da sky caught fire and we saw them comet-fings with da Emperor's Boyz in 'em? [[OhCrap Well, here they come again...]]"''
-->--'''[[OurOrcsAreDifferent Grudley, assistant to Big Mek Ognutz]]''', ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}: Planetstrike'' supplement

A subtrope of ItsRainingMen, this is a favored tactic of the SpaceMarine. You need to get your troops to the battlefield. You also need to inflict damage to the enemy. Why not do both at the same time?

A DropPod is usually launched from a ship--usually in space--like a bullet after being loaded with troops, preferably in PoweredArmor. Sometimes it has its own thrusters, allowing it to adjust its course in flight. When it hits, it usually performs a GroundShatteringLanding, softening up the enemy enough to allow the troops to disembark safely.

Note that while a DropPod is ''nearly'' always used to damage the enemy, it doesn't always. The [[TropeMaker Starship Troopers]] version typically disintegrated, creating chaff to protect the trooper from anti-air fire, by the time it reached the ground.

Compare DropShip, which carries multiple soldiers and can fly back up to the orbiting ship afterward. If launched against another ship instead, you're looking at a BoardingPod. If you're expecting everyone to die, you might be considering a ColonyDrop instead.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* In ''MobileSuitGundamSeed'', ZAFT used Drop Pods to deliver their HumongousMecha to Earth when they began their invasion
* The pods used by Frieza's troops in ''DragonballZ''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* In ''RogueTrooper'', the [[SuperSoldier GIs]] were deployed onto [[DeathWorld Nu Earth]] in these during the Quartz Zone Massacre. This also carried over into the video game adaptation.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Animated ]]
* Though it it not designed to inflict damage, [[TheIncredibles Mr. Incredible]] is launched from Mirage's plane in one of these.
** Later, the Incredibles improvise one using an RV and a rocket.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Live Action ]]
* The aliens use them in ''Film/{{Battleship}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Like many SpaceMarine tropes, the TropeMaker here is ''Literature/StarshipTroopers''. Little has changed since Creator/RobertAHeinlein invented the trope. It is worth noting that in the book, the pods were launched by being fired out of a tube like torpedos, in the oppoosite direction the ship was orbiting, to help them slow down enough for reentry.
* ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' By H.G. Wells has the Martians using drop pods that contain the materials necessary to build their [[TripodTerror tripods]].
* In the NewJediOrder novel ''Rebel Dream'', special guest stars [[WeDoTheImpossible Wraith Squadron]] unveil their latest devices: one-man covert drop pods (really little more than shells) that are designed to mimic spaceborne debris falling to a planet. They proceed to use them to insert an infiltration team onto recently-captured Coruscant despite the massive enemy fleet presence.
* Used for both SpaceMarine and [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]] deployments in ''Literature/TheHistoryOfTheGalaxy'' series, usually from Marine Assault Modules (basically, {{Drop Ship}}s with tons of guns for clearing the area and battering down heavy fortifications prior to the land assault), when the MAM itself can't land. The pods are little more than shipping crates with landing thrusters attached.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* {{Atari}}'s ''Pinball/MiddleEarth'' pinball has futuristic explorers use bulb-shaped chrome pods to land on a LostWorld filled with dinosaurs and monsters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''
** The Imperium's {{Space Marine}}s use this as their primary tactic, and can even drop Dreadnoughts (twelve-foot-tall battle sarcophagi). Many other races have similar abilities. The tactic of unexpectedly inserting your troops behind enemy lines is known as "deep striking," whether it is done with Drop Pods, teleporters, or (in the Tyranids' case) [[OrganicTechnology wombs fired from space]].
** The SpaceMarines themselves do not rely on the GroundShatteringLanding to clear the way. Instead they launch two waves of pods, the first wave contains pods equipped with automated guns to clear the landing area for the second wave (which contains the Marines).
** Da Orks, [[CrazyAwesome being who they are]], kick this one up a couple notches in the form of Roks. They take an asteroid, add engines, guns, and armor to it, fill it with Orks, and ram it into a planet. The Rok either causes a huge ruckus on impact and unleashes a horde of greenskins, or simply explodes and kills everything in the vicinity. Orks don't care which.
* ''{{Champions}}'' supplement ''Gadgets''. One of the title items was the "Jump Shell", said to be used by the U.S. Marine Corps to insert troops into the battlefield from orbit. Less advanced interim models would be dropped from supersonic transport planes.
* Classic ''{{Traveller}}'' Adventure 1 ''The Kinunir''. Some of the Marine troops on board the title ship are trained to use jump capsules to descend from orbit and land on a planetary surface.
* ''BattleTech'' has [[HumongousMecha Mech]]-sized drop pods, as well as power armor sized ones. They are usually dropped directly onto a possible landing zone to secure it, so that the {{DropShip}}s can arrive to bring in the real army.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' gives us the HEV, or Human Entry Vehicle, designed to shoot one soldier at the battlefield. These are launched in large numbers; the idea is that if one gets shot down, you lose one troop rather than the dozens that would be aboard a dropship. The troops who use this are the ODST, also called Helljumpers, and are the second best the human military has to offer, after the [[SuperSoldier Spartans]]. In ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' the ''In Amber Clad'' deploys the Chief and a squad of Helljumpers onto Halo Installation 05 this way, prompting this remark from Cortana:
--> "Could we possibly make any more noise?" ''[[CrowningMomentOfFunny (Chief pulls out a rocket launcher)]]'' "... [[RhetoricalQuestionBlunder I guess so.]]"
* The [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Mandalorians]] from ''Franchise/{{Star Wars|ExpandedUniverse}}: VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' use Basilisk war droids to drop themselves onto planet surface from space. The Exile gets to repeat the feat on Onderon in the sequel.
* ''StarWars:TheOldRepublic'': A ship's [[EscapePod Escape Pods]] are used this way, for the Eternity Vault Operation (Raid).
* The [[CommandAndConquerTiberium Tiberium]] saga of ''CommandAndConquer'' features this in two iterations of the SupportPower variety. The ''Tiberian Sun'' iteration crash drops a handful of [[WeakButSkilled veteran low-tier]] GDI infantrymen on the battlefield. The ''Tiberium Wars'' variant, on the other hand, lands a commander a few squads of veteran GDI Zone Troopers which are powerful enough to turn a pitched battle into a devastating curb-stomp.
** On the other hand, the Tiberian Sun pods have a function that clears the landing area...with [[MoreDakka gunfire]]. Helpful if you're dropping your boys into a hot zone and need to take out a cluster of high-level enemies. The Tiberium Wars pods land gently, slowly, and are generally sitting ducks until the Zone Troopers get out.
* In ''StarWarsBattlefront: Elite Squadron'', one may utilize the escape pods on capital ships as a quick way of getting to the planet's surface to attack.
* In ''MegaManLegends 2'', a drop pod has to be built in order for [=MegaMan=] to reach the surface of Forbidden Island due to the violent blizzard.
* There were drop pods in ''[[VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} Battlefield 2142]]'' which could be launched from air transports, Titans, [=APCs=] and the player would spawn from one if you selected a spawn beacon for your spawn point. Before the most recent patches, they could be used to destroy vehicles, and a glitch allowed you to fly around the map.
* In the campaign of ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'' the Terrans use drop pods, the mercenary compound brings merc units to the field in seconds using them and a tech upgrade allows the barracks to do the same. In addition the Zerg have "Sacs" that fill the same function in certain missions.
* The Crimson Lance arrive in these in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}''.
* In the ''VideoGame/QuakeII'' and ''VideoGame/QuakeIV'' universe, the drop pods are almost identical as how they are in ''Literature/StarshipTroopers''. In ''II'', the player starts when he misses his drop zone and ends up and the far side of enemy territory. In Quake IV, the player uses a drop pod to make a pin-point attack on a Strogg command centre. Coincidentally, both landings are crash landings due to malfunctions in the pods' systems after they're clipped by another pod[[note]]which, in ''II'''s case, saves Bitterman's life, most of the other pods being shot down by the Big Gun's {{EMP}}[[/note]].
* ''PlanetSide'' has the [=HART=] drop pod. The [=HART=] shuttle flies above the planet, and ejects the soldiers out of the bottom in large metal pods with small thrusters on them. Once the pod lands, it unfolds and releases the soldier. ''Planetside 2'' drops the HART, but allows players to use the drop pods by using the Instant Action utility, through squad spawn beacons, or spawning on a squad leader. The ''[=PS2=]'' drop pods are player-controlled, and have some maneuvering thrusters - most players use them to [[GoombaStomp crush aircraft or land on the heads of infantry]]
* Used in the ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon FEAR]]'' series to drop down armour onto the battle field.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Awesomenauts}}'', this is how your character enters the battle at the start of a game, or when respawning.
* ''CortexCommand'' has drop crates which are essentially the same thing. Said crates only have 2 exits and can end up in situations where both are blocked, resulting it the crate destroying itself so things inside it can escape.
* In the first ''DawnOfWar'' and its expansions, any SpaceMarine unit could be redeployed via DropPod, though it required a clear landing area. In ''Dawn Of War II'', this is how your squads enter the map, and they can summon another one that instantly replenishes your troops (and this time, can be brought down on enemies' heads).
* SidMeiersAlphaCentauri featured Drop Pods/Gravity Pods as a potential tech add-on for land units, allowing one which hasn't acted yet that turn to air drop ''itself'' to another position within a certain range. Great for jumping across bodies of water, rough terrain, or just cutting off an enemy from behind when they thought they had you penned in.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebOriginal]]
* The Freelancer Saga of RedVsBlue used these a few times. It was usually used to provide weaponry and gear to the Freelancers, but at one point was used to drop in Agent Maine.
* During the Halloween invasion of SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy in the WhateleyUniverse, [=ARC=] provided support by sending a couple dozen fighters in power armor using drop pods from a space station overhead.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'' featured two variants: A smaller one for the [[SpaceMarine Jump Troopers]], and bigger reentry pods for the [[MiniMecha E-Frames]].
* ''WesternAnimation/RoughnecksStarshipTroopersChronicles'' had the troopers first embark onto {{Drop Ship}}s, and then they would be dropped from there in pods, presumably to allow the mothership to stay clear of [[BugWar Bug]] [[AntiAir defensive fire]]. One episode has Rico get cast adrift in one of these due to a glancing blow in mid-drop. He is eventually saved by [[LoveInterest Carmen]], but not before a ClipShow can ensue as Rico's life takes nearly 22 minutes to flash before his eyes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life]]
* The mundane version doesn't have a GroundShatteringLanding, but is effective; during WorldWarII military gliders were used to drop troops, jeeps, light artillery and even light tanks, achieving a superior concentration of forces with better support assets than a parachute drop.
* And of course, given their renowned penchant for unorthodox weaponry experimentation, ThoseWackyNazis tested [[http://s1.postimg.org/z2r4w5wwq/Ju_87_D_3_Cont_2.jpg special personnel pods that would be carried over the Ju-87 dive-bomber's wings,]] which would be released in a steep dive, descending from a parachute, allowing for even more precise troop deployment then would be possible with a glider, with 2 men to a pod, one pod to a wing. This is probably the closest that real life has ever gotten to this trope.
[[/folder]]
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